RV bylaw back after summer break

Staff recommend allowing all RVs

The current bylaw bans RVs longer than 7.5 metres from residential properties.

The current bylaw bans RVs longer than 7.5 metres from residential properties.

District staff are recommending Maple Ridge change its bylaw to permit parking of recreational vehicles of any size on residential properties, provided they fit within the lot.

A report to council on Monday also suggested amending the district complaint process by limiting the complaint radius to 100 metres in the urban area and allowing no more than three complaints per person per year.

The recommendations follow an open house in June, attended by 84 people, most of whom supported the option to relax the rules around by permitting RVs of any size.

District council, however, asked staff to continue working on the bylaw as questions about weight restrictions, parking on small lots and the 100-metre complaint radius arose.

“We’ll give the RV people the summer off,” said Coun. Craig Speirs.

“They are probably all off camping anyway.”

RV regulation was a burning issue this spring after one resident filed more than 100 complaints about improperly parked RVs, creating an avalanche of complaints and leading staff to issue relocation orders for some of the hotels on wheels.

The uproar prompted council to ask staff to conduct a review.

The district’s current bylaw bans RVs larger than 7.5 metres from residential properties.

Enforcement action was suspended during the review.

Statistics from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia show that eight per cent of households in Maple Ridge, or about 2,000, own some form of a recreational vehicle, ranging from 13-metre motor homes with a square footage and amenities of a small apartment to tent trailers the size of a small car.

Eric Phillips, a resident who opposed the RV bylaw, was pleased that council referred the report back to staff for more information.

“It’s got to go back for more clarity,” he said.

Jacques Blackstone, a Maple Ridge resident whose been leading the charge against the bylaw, just hopes the review doesn’t drag into fall.

“I don’t want it being brought up right before the election,” said Blackstone, who instead proposed that a resident should only be able to complain about something if it’s visible from his or her residence.

The bylaw review is expected to return to council during a committee of the whole meeting in August.